These spacecraft also underscore the value of data preservation. In the early days of the Pioneer missions, scientists and engineers often viewed the medium as more valuable than the data it contained. Many considered raw data to be worthless once “useful” scientific and technical information had been extracted. Nowadays data storage may be cheap, but we’re still in danger of suffering from shortsightedness when it comes to data custodianship. Every experiment needs a clear plan in place to ensure that a record of the original observations is still available and readable, even decades into the future. It may very well be the only way we’ll resolve the next confounding mystery.